AUGUST 28, 2002
Never underestimate Tom Walkinshaw
Those who have known him for a long time always agree that one can never write off Tom Walkinshaw. He is not dead until they nail the lid down on his coffin. On Wednesday afternoon Walkinshaw announced that he has signed the "heads of agreement" with an American investor. This is odd in that there are no further details of who is involved or what is going to happen about the team's debts and such other inconveniences as a winding-up order that is coming in the days ahead.
Walkinshaw's view is that this is no-one's business but his own and that he will tell people what he wants to tell them when he is ready to speak. This is all well and good but nonetheless one has to ask questions about how a deal can be struck when the team is restrained from doing business by an injunction placed on the team by Morgan Grenfell. The implication must be that the investment bank has agreed to do something to avoid the team going into receivership, at which point the bank will lose all the money it is claiming. If Walkinshaw has managed to come up with an acceptable figure to pay off Morgan Grenfell and then gone out and found someone to pay it then he should be congratulated.
However a "heads of agreement" is not an agreement until the deal has gone through the necessary processes. One must assume that the necessary due diligence will be done - although it must be said that Morgan Grenfell did not seem to bother with that when they became involved in the team - and we must see if this creates any problems.
It is anticipated that the team will field Enrique Bernoldi and Fernando Alonso this weekend.
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